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Artists with war-time links contribute to Poppy Appeal

Artists with war-time links contribute to Poppy Appeal

Saturday 27 October 2018

Artists with war-time links contribute to Poppy Appeal

Saturday 27 October 2018

An islander born just before the Occupation who went on to marry an RAF serviceman, and another who was born during the war and whose uncles served, have used their artistic flair in a unique contribution to this year's poppy appeal.

Mary le Brocq and Jane Warren are two of three Jersey creatives to have donated their skills to support the Jersey branch of the Royal British Legion and its nationwide annual Poppy Appeal.

Mrs Le Brocq has contributed watercolour poppy images, while poet Jane Warren and photographer Nick Jouault have shared their words and snaps to help raise funds.

Lady Joan Birt, local Poppy Appeal coordinator, said she was delighted with the artist's support, adding that they had been "peculiarly generous."

“It is touching to receive such open generosity from people like Mary, Nick and Jane, along with the 600 volunteers who give their time and energy every year. These paintings, pictures and words will help to make our Jersey fundraising both unique and successful. As we mark the end of World War One, the spirit of the Royal British Legion can only be enhanced by their generosity, and such acts of kindness help to bring support to many in our troubled times," she said.

Express went to meet the three artists involved...

Mary Le Brocq

Born in Jersey just before the Occupation, Ms Le Brocq painted three poppies in watercolour two years ago. She then printed the poppies on cards and donated them to the Poppy Appeal who sold them to raise funds. This year, she created more designs which have been used to decorate bags, oven gloves, tea towels and more cards.


Pictured: Mary Le Brocq's poppies and Nick Jouault's wildlife images feature on merchandise that will be sold in the Picquet House Poppy Appeal shop.

Mary, whose husband served in the Royal Air Force, says she is not an artist. "I take art classes," she admits, adding that she was amazed her designs were used. "It is such an important charity to support," she told Express. "This is the least I can do. It's been a pleasure to do something to help them."

Nick Jouault

A frequent visitor to the Ecréhous, Nick Jouault has captured a range of wildlife photographs on Jersey’s offshore reef, including birds, seals and dolphins.

He was contacted by Lady Joan Birt, his neighbour and the co-ordinator of the merchandise for the Jersey Poppy Appeal, who asked him if his photographs could be used on cards to be sold for the appeal. 

Piquet House

Pictured: The Royal British Legion Shop will once again be based at Picquet House in the Royal Square.

Nick explained: "I spend a lot of time at Les Ecréhous. I just like the place, I have since I was a little boy. I take a lot of photographs of the wildlife and am glad to see them on cards."

Lady Birt added: "It is something a bit different. You don't see many cards with Les Ecréhous wildlife, or Jersey wildlife. It is something unique and original. They are really beautiful photographs but there are only 100 printed so it's quite limited."


Jane Warren

Poet Jane Warren is also supporting the appeal this year. She donated a short poem that features on the cards bearing the 2018 enamel poppy pins. Her "evocative and emotional words, reflecting on the two World Wars, were also read at the opening of the Field of Remembrance yesterday.  

She started writing five years ago and many of her poems have focused on the theme of war. She explained: "I recited one of my poems at work, at Jersey Heritage, about three years ago. One of my friends said it was a pity I didn't write the year before. I thought that since the war went one for four years I still had time to do something.

"I wrote a poem about a father and a son who were both soldiers and fought in two different wars. At the end of the poem, I added a few lines as a post script and that's what features on the cards."

Jane Warren Poppy Appeal 2018

Pictured: Jane Warren's poem can be found at the back of the card bearing this year's poppy pin.

The poet explained that she was born during World War II and that two of her uncles took part in WWI. "They made a great impression on me," she said. "One of them lost an arm during the war and he used to say, 'That was my birthday gift from the Germans!' Ironically, that probably saved his life and he lived to be over 90.

"It's always very poignant when you think about the boys we lost and who never got to be old. The poem says 'They shall grow not old', they are forever young."

Jane's poem reads: "When the Great War at last was over/ And peace replaced the thunder of the guns/ We paid a minute's silence for the fallen in November./ Then came the second war, and to remember/ We added another minute for their sons."

The Royal British Legion Shop opens at Picquet House in the Royal Square today. It will be open daily between 9:00 and 17:00, until midday on 10 November. In addition to the items unique to Jersey featuring Mary's, Nick's and Jane's work, the shop will sell enamel poppy pins and a range of merchandise. 

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